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Hi I'm Marilyn

I'm a former English teacher and humanitarian volunteer. I spent nearly two years traveling all over Russia. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have two daughters and two sons. Among them they and their spouses have produced our 13 grandchildren. I saw a lot of Europe when I spent a semester in France during my college years. My husband was in the Navy, so I spent a lot of my young, parenting years seeing America. I saw a lot of Russia. My husband and I visited 32 Russian cities spread from the western boarder to an eastern island just north of Japan. We grew to love the Russian people, their kindness and strength, and their beautiful land. I love to write, read scriptures, and learn. I have done my fair share of canning and camping, sewing and knitting, hiking and biking, teaching and learning, wondering and pondering.

Why I am a Mormon

I have had so many personal witnesses that God is real; that He is aware of me, personally; that He loves me, personally; that He knows what is going on; that He is in charge; that there is and always has been a plan; that there is a reason for the things that happen. As I study the Scriptures I see patterns and order and consistency and foreshadowing and repetition and fulfillment. The Book of Mormon has so much in it that can only be accounted for if it is precisely what the Prophet Joseph Smith said it is. There is no way he wrote that book. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He was a witness and he was taught by others who had far greater knowledge than he had and far greater information than he had access to. As I watch today's Prophets, I see wisdom beyond mortal capacity in the things they teach, the processes they put in place, and the results those processes produce. In my brain and in my heart the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fit together and work. They make sense and they feel right. It's not always easy. There are some things that I struggle with, but the answers come, and with the answers come peace, and an assurance that things will eventually work out. The symbolism of the teachings and the ordinances is beautiful and powerful and always remind us of Christ. The Lord does everything He can to remind us of what life is all about. The Holy Ghost is real. From Him we gain light and knowledge and peace and assurance that eternal truths are really real. He has a tremendous impact on the outcome of our eternal life if we just follow His promptings. The Savior is our savior -- and so much more. And He loves us. I have felt His love. It is more real than anything we experience in this temporal world. And Heavenly Father is our heavenly father. He loves us and He wants us back. He wants to give us all He has, but He won't force anything on us. We have agency, and with agency comes accountability. That's why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

The Church has given me countless opportunities to serve others, to learn valuable skills and lessons, to use my talents, and to grow. I've always enjoyed meeting with a few women on a regular monthly basis to discuss gospel topics. It's amazing how, over the months or years, you grow to love those women. I've had the opportunity to lead others as they taught and worked with children, young people, and women. I've enjoyed the opportunity to teach Scripture classes to young people and adults and have lead Scripture study groups. I've learned so many things as I have served in these positions. I even participated with my family in and assisted as business manager for theatrical productions to which the community was invited. I served as a PTA president and in several other positions in parent-teacher relationships. I spent several years serving as the editor of newsletters for both school and church organizations. I served as a volunteer in the elementary school near us helping children improve their reading skills and as a Junior Great Books discussion leader. I have had opportunities to do humanitarian work and even participated in setting up projects and writing guidelines to help others who desired to participate or contribute to make their contributions more uniform and useful. I enjoyed teaching English to others who came from countries all over the world in an effort to help them become more comfortable and better able to seek employment in America. Spending time in Russia gave me a new appreciation for how important that was! I currently serve in one of our temples and with my husband help teach a Family Finance class and work with single adults in our area in strengthening them in social and spiritual matters.

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon was NOT written by Joseph Smith. He had about two years of formal education. I have a college degree. I spent many hours most days for a year and a half reading the book and pausing to write poems (hymns) on significant concepts. As I worked my way through the book (I ended up with 70 poems), I came to realize the no one man could have possibly written the Book of Mormon. It contains ancient Hebraic poetry forms; profound types and shadows of Christ; patterns that are being repeated in detail today; complicated organization, historical events, and interrelationships; Arabic names; and ancient traditions that no mortal living in the 1800's could have combined into a cohesive, deeply meaningful book -- one which invites the reader to ask God (after reading it and pondering it) if its true. I know the Book of Mormon is exactly what the book, itself, claims to be: "an abridgment of the record of ... [people] who are a remnant of the house of Israel" as well as "a record of the people...who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building [the tower of Babel]." It is another witness of Christ WRITTEN by eye witness prophets under the direction of the Lord; it was ABRIDGED with us in mind by an ancient prophet, Mormon; it was hidden up by Mormon's son, Moroni, who centuries later delivered it to the Prophet Joseph Smith who, at God's direction and with His help, TRANSLATED it. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are richly blessed. They recognize the great blessings they have and are anxious to share with others some of the gifts, talents, and/or material things with which the Lord has blessed them. Many of God's children have great needs. The Church's welfare program offers opportunities to give of ourselves to those in need. It also provides opportunities for those in need to learn skills and use what time and talents they have to meet their own needs. Food is provided through voluntarily efforts of those who raise, harvest, preserve, or produce commodities. Those commodities are distributed through highly organized but voluntary individuals to those in need. Those who receive the commodities are encouraged to contribute to the process through some sort of voluntary activity such as working in any of the aforementioned procedures or others that can be adapted to their time and skills. Clothing and other useful items are likewise gathered and made available at a nominal cost to others. Some needy are temporarily employed and receive training that allows them to become gainfully employed outside the Church's welfare system. There is great joy in working together for the betterment of others. There is great dignity in the way the needy are treated and in the knowledge they are earning that which they are receiving. The welfare system provides an outlet for many good people -- those who serve, and those who need assistance. Show more Show less